I’ve been observing the brown belters do their free practice lately and i noticed one very common symptom happening, the so-called Stockholm-syndrome. Well, you can read about it here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome
What i want to comment is that there is simply too much cooperation, in the free practice. It happens, naturally when we are a small and tight knitted dojo, we’ve been practicing with each other for so long now, we know each others’ moves, rhythm, tempo, speed, all build into our sub conscious.
So is that harmony? When we are so in tuned with each other’s bio-rhythmn?
The Uke and the Nage are simply in a kind of empathetic relationship, the uke slows down so that the nage can anticipate the attack so as to learn from it. The nage is gentle with the uke so that the uke will be allowed am unscathed escape. So it looks orchestrated, where there opportunities to learn through deliberation, trial and error. Well, that is simply not the spirit of free practice.
In free practice, the nage must be at least and always be, one heart beat faster than the uke, and be ready when the uke’s taking a ukemi, the leading is paramount, as if the leading stop, the uke, must deliver an unkindly atemi the nage, so as to jolt the nage into reality. There is simply no time to think, deliberate and politicise the moves to make. Free practice is free practice. It is called free practice, because it is free from deliberation, free form attack and defence. No thinking, no learning, no stopping. come on! we are doing a martial arts here! not an academic study!
The Uke must attack with vigour and not aggression, firm and fast. The attack must be alive and the uke will turn nage once the nage slows down. In this aspect, trust must never be question. The nage must take the lead to lure the uke to attack. and the uke must attack upon the initiation. No hesitation, no pause. In the true spirit of the Samurai, any pause, hesitation will mean a certain death or dishonour.
So there is harmony, in free practice, only when both the nage and uke knows their roles well and trust each other to do their part well. Be pure in their movement without anticipation. All thoughts and doubts must be cleared, likened a plane taking off from the runway. all debris cleared from the runway, the pilot focus on powering the plane up, without hesitation.